An earlier version of this story said Mirai Nagasu nailed her triple axel on Tuesday. Her near-flawless routine garnered an overall score of 137.53 - the second-best of the women's free skate, which helped propel her team to third place. "I was very close to quitting". "But I took that heartbreak and made the decision to change myself and become more responsible and want to improve".
"I feel really great", she said after her performance.
A triple axel, for you uninitiated folks (and I was one of them), is a forward-facing jump that consists of three-and-a-half rotations in the air.
Whether you watched Mirai Nagasu become the first American woman to land a triple axel in the Olympics or just heard the reaction to it Sunday night, it was clear Nagasu had pulled off a rare and exceptionally hard feat. It doesn't happen immediately.
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She said that her sushi chef father rarely had the chance to see her skate because he nearly never closed his restaurant, and now is no different. "I would have dreams that I could do this jump, then I would try it on ice and I would fall".
"We were eating In-N-Out because we were so upset we weren't at the Olympic games", Rippon said. The pair, who finished in eigth place at the Sochi games in 2014, finished second behind Canada, besting Russian Federation in third. While competing in the women's individual in the team event, Nagasu landed a triple axel- a feat that no American woman has ever pulled off at the Winter Olympics. "So much fun", Rippon said to NBC's Andrea Joyce. But guess what? If you're a Colorado Avalanche fan, you probably knew the name Mirai Nagasu way before America knew it. Once he realized that he did, he focused on competing for the Olympics on his own terms, coming out as gay in 2015 and focusing on his comeback. His "spellbinding" performance in the team event on Sunday made him the first openly gay athlete from the U.S.to medal in the Winter Games.
Although she is the second-ranked US skater behind relative newcomer Bradie Tennell, Nagasu seems the most likely challenge to reach the podium. Canada won the team event with 73 points and the Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation won the silver medal with 66 points. I say it every five minutes.